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TITLE: She'll see I'm not so tough
AUTHOR: the_girl_20
FANDOM: Legend of the Seeker AU
PAIRING: Cara/Kahlan
SUMMARY: AU. Kahlan's catching a plane, will Cara let her go?
DISCLAIMER: Don't own 'em.
AUTHORS' NOTES: So, huffstodt prompted me with this: Kahlan is about to board a plane to LEAVE FOR ALL TIME or a two-day business trip when Cara suddenly realizes that she loves her and she desperately needs to let her know. And that turned into this.


Cara lugged the last box into the hallway. She stood back and surveyed the achievement; a life in a small pile of boxes.


Cara turned and accepted the offered bottle with a grin. Kahlan smiled back, though it was a little sad, as it had been for weeks. She came to stand by Cara’s shoulder.

“Doesn’t look much, does it?”

“You gave all your stuff to the poor and the needy of New York, Kahlan,” Cara said with an affectionate eye roll. “You can’t give it away and keep it too.”

Kahlan bumped her hip against Cara’s.

“Stop making sense.”

“You’ll miss my common sense when your bleeding heart liberalism has nothing to keep it in check.”

Cara bit her lip. Neither of them had used the word ‘miss’ before. Somehow, they’d managed to get to the point where Kahlan was leaving for California the following day without actually acknowledging it in words. Kahlan had just graduated from law school and was going back to join her family’s law firm in California. Not for the first time, Cara marvelled that the two of them were friends at all.

Kahlan was from a wealthy family from San Francisco. Cara was a mechanic from the Bronx. By rights, they should never have met. Cara’s sister Dahlia liked to call it ‘fate’. Her other sister, Triana, liked to call it ‘dumb luck’. Cara generally thought of it as ‘Kahlan’s car broke down outside a bar that Cara happened to be in’. But even she realised that didn’t explain their friendship; only how they met.

They got to be friends because Cara was too drunk to fix Kahlan’s car, but sober enough to give her the address of her father’s auto-shop and the number of a guy with a tow truck. Cara also happened to live above the shop, so when they got there, Cara invited Kahlan in to wait for a cab. In the end, the cab didn’t get called because Cara and Kahlan ended up arguing over some welfare policy that the government had recently introduced, then sharing stories about their childhoods and by the time the sun rose, they were playing darts in the her father’s office.

Cara could still remember the way Kahlan’s pristine white summer dress looked out of place amidst the grime and clutter. But damn, could the girl throw a dart with accuracy. That was a skill Cara could admire.

After that, Cara fixed Kahlan’s car and wouldn’t accept payment for it. So Kahlan insisted on taking her out to dinner as a thank you. One dinner became a series of dinners and lunches, and the occasional breakfast as they paid each other back.

Then Cara’s father died and her world collapsed. And Kahlan was there for her. Cara didn’t cry once in front of her family; they needed her to be strong. But she cried with Kahlan, and Kahlan wiped her tears and said nothing.

Cara had four sisters. Her mother had died giving birth to Dahlia, the baby of the family. Their father had done his best to bring them up right, and he’d succeeded in raising a family of strong, independent women. Denna, the eldest, had taken on the role of matriarch. She taught herself to cook and she looked after her younger siblings when their father was working all the hours god sent to make enough money to survive. From a very young age Denna had worked in the business, keeping the accounts straight and making sure everything was running as it should be. Her father had taken her on as manager when she turned sixteen and she still held that position. Nobody messed with Denna. Nobody dared. She was fiercely protective of her family and everybody knew it.

Next came Triana, who was the exception to almost every rule in the Mason family. Triana was sure she’d been born beneath her station. She was absolutely stunning and she knew it and worked it to her advantage with every male she came into contact with. She had no interest in cars (except how fast she could make them go) and she point blank refused to learn anything about them. She fell easily into her role as receptionist for the company. Cara was the middle kid, nine months younger than Triana. Next was Garen, who had Triana’s looks, but not her nature. Garen was quiet; some would say sullen. She didn’t say much; only speaking when she had something worth saying. And she was an excellent mechanic. Cara and Garen had learned the trade from their father as they grew up, mostly just by hanging around and helping out until he finally took them on as apprentices when they were old enough. Lastly, there was Dahlia. Everyone adored Dahlia, with her angelic looks and her sweet nature. She was the peacemaker and the negotiator. And her skills were required often in the household.

Cara’s father’s death sealed her friendship with Kahlan and soon they were inseparable. Cara would turn up unannounced at Kahlan’s apartment at odd times of the night because she’d had a fight with one of her sisters and Kahlan would just yawn and step aside to let her in, ranting all the way about whichever sister (generally Triana) had pissed her off. One day, Kahlan handed her a key and told her just to come over whenever she needed to. It wasn’t to say that Kahlan never made her way out to the Bronx. She claimed to love the loud, chaotic world that the Masons inhabited. She’d often dropped by on a Sunday, when the whole family sat down to a meal with whichever significant others or friends were around at the time. Cara’s sisters all liked Kahlan, which was previously unheard of. And before long, they started asking questions about the nature of their relationship.

Which brought up the only problem with the whole scenario; Cara was madly in love with Kahlan.

It wasn’t a problem, as such. She even thought that Kahlan maybe felt the same way about her sometimes. But neither of them had ever made a move. Cara’s reasons had become muddled over the years. At first it had been because she didn’t want to frighten Kahlan off or ruin their friendship. Then it was because they had been friends for too long and it might seem weird. But it slowly became clear to Cara that the real reason Cara had never told Kahlan how she felt was because she didn’t ever want to be the one holding Kahlan back from where she was supposed to be. Kahlan wasn’t supposed to be the girlfriend of a mechanic. And Cara couldn’t have coped with having Kahlan, only to lose her completely.

“I will miss your version of common sense.” Kahlan’s voice brought Cara out of her head and back to the present. “I’ll miss more than that, though...”

Cara took a deep breath. This was what she had been dreading. She hated goodbyes.

“You’ll miss Denna’s cooking, huh?”

A surprised laugh took the edge off the air of sadness that had settled around them. “Well, I’ll definitely miss Denna’s cooking.” Kahlan’s smile faded. She put her bottle of beer on the table and took Cara’s and did the same, before taking both of Cara’s hands and holding them. “I know we don’t do...this kind of thing very often.” She gestured with her head towards their joined hands. “But I...I’m going to miss you, Cara. More than anything else. You.”

Cara cleared her throat to buy some time, squeezing Kahlan’s hands gently and forcing herself to meet watery blue eyes. She swallowed.

“I’m gonna miss you too, Kahlan,” she admitted. She shifted uncomfortably, unused to such mushy talk. “I know we’re...not supposed to be friends. I grew up hatin’ people like you...but I don’t hate you. And I don’t want you to leave without you knowing that...that you’re the best friend I ever had.”

She was gathered up in a tight hug before she knew what was happening and for a moment she stood, frozen. Then she allowed her arms to go around Kahlan’s waist, holding her. Her eyes drifted closed and she concentrated on remembering how it felt to hold Kahlan.

“You’re the best friend I’ve ever had too,” Kahlan whispered into her hair. She pulled away to look at Cara’s face and Cara’s heart clenched at the sight of the tears on her cheeks.

“You know,” Kahlan began, with a smile. “For a while I thought...I hoped that...that we...might...”

She looked at Cara, clearly waiting for an indication that Cara knew what she was saying. Part of Cara wanted to lean forward and capture Kahlan’s lips with her own and tell her that she wanted nothing more in the world than to be with her and hold her this way forever. But she held back and said nothing, and prayed that Kahlan wouldn’t finish her thought.

Kahlan shook her head, trying to laugh. “Nothing...never mind.” She hugged Cara close for a moment before stepping away and wiping her face. Cara took the opportunity to swipe at the stray tear that had emerged at the side of one of her eyes.

“It’s not like we’re never going to see each other again,” Kahlan said. “I’m only a few hours away. We can visit each other and call and text all the time.”

Cara nodded, even though she knew that visits would probably be few and far between, and would be Kahlan coming to visit her rather than the other way around. “Maybe I’ll even get one of those Facespace things you and Dahlia keep tellin’ me to get.”

“Facebook, Cara, and you know that,” Kahlan said with a roll of her eyes. “And you don’t have to, I can keep up-to-date with your exploits through Dahlia and Triana’s anyway...Triana posts the best pictures.”

“Triana better have taken that picture off like she told me she had,” Cara said.

Her sisters had taken it upon themselves to girlify Cara one evening. She had been bored and that’s the only reason she ended up in one of Triana’s dresses, with her hair all fancy and her face caked in make-up. It was only when Kahlan had complimented her taste in shoes that she realised Triana had posted evidence of her makeover online. A few choice threats and she elicited a promise to remove it.

“Oh, she did take it down,” Kahlan said. “But that doesn’t mean I don’t have a copy...”

Cara sighed. “I need to get on this thing and see what you’re all sayin’ about me.”

“Only good things, Cara,” Kahlan said. “I wouldn’t let anyone talk trash about you.”

Cara raised an eyebrow. “’Talk trash’?” She smirked. “It’s probably good that you’re goin’ back out west. We’re rubbin’ off on you.”

Kahlan looked at her, without speaking, for a long moment. “Yeah, I guess it’s for the best.”

Silence settled over them again and Cara coughed to break it.

“I...uh, got you somethin’,” she murmured. “It’s nothin’ big or special or...I just...got you somethin’.”

Kahlan smiled. “I got you something too...wait here.” She disappeared into her bedroom and Cara fumbled to get a package out of her back pocket. It was wrapped simply in brown paper and Dahlia had insisted on tying a ribbon around it to make it prettier. Cara had sighed but insisted the ribbon was white, because that’s what she thought of when she thought of Kahlan.

Now, the package looked insignificant and Cara wished she could take it back, but Kahlan was already returning, carrying a large, and very flat, square object. Cara tilted her head. She had no idea what it could be.

“Okay...I’m hopin’ that size doesn’t matter...” Without further elaboration she thrust the little package into Kahlan’s free hand. “Here.”

Kahlan smiled and handed over her own gift. “Should we open them together?”

“Yeah, let’s do that.” That way the focus was divided and not all on one person. Cara hated when people wanted a reaction out of her. She carefully ripped the paper covering the gift that Kahlan had given her, still clueless as to what it might be. The tear revealed what appeared to be a bit of a car, and a thigh. Cara glanced up at Kahlan, but she was busy untying the ribbon on her own gift. Unable to wait any longer, Cara ripped the thing all the way off. She was left holding an old, slightly battered, metal sign. It was of a blonde woman in a very short skirt, sitting on the bumper of a car with the hood popped. ‘Mord Sith Auto Repair’ stood out in red and blue on the side. She looked up to find Kahlan watching her with an embarrassed smile.

“Is this the...”

“Original sign from your Pop’s shop? Yeah, it is.” Kahlan blushed and came to stand by Cara as she held the sign up in both hands. “She kinda looks like Denna, don’t you think?”

“That’s my Grandma...and yeah, she does,” Cara agreed, the effort that Kahlan must have gone to sinking in. “Kahlan this...this is amazing. I can’t...how did you...”

“I asked around a little,” Kahlan said, with a dismissive wave of her hand. “It wasn’t too difficult.”

“It’s...perfect,” Cara managed. “Thank you.”

“Can I ask...I’ve always wondered where the ‘Mord Sith’ thing came from,” Kahlan said, her eyes dancing with curiosity.

Cara grinned. “Well, there’s all sortsa stories in my family about it, but my pop told me one time when he was drunk that it was a girl gang in the fifties that my Grandma belonged to. They wore red leather jackets with ‘Mord Sith’ across the back, the whole deal. And my Grandpa was in another gang, but he fell hard for my Grandma and named the shop in her honour. Pretty badass, huh?”

“Definitely badass,” Kahlan agreed. “Now I see where you get it from. And where Denna gets her looks.”

“I can’t wait to show it to the family...they’ll love it.”

“I’m gonna open yours now.”

Cara placed the sign carefully on the floor, leaning it against the wall, and shoved her hands into the back pockets of her jeans. She shuffled her feet.

“Mine is...it’s not as good as what you gave me...it’s lame.”

“Cara?” Cara looked up into Kahlan’s eyes. “Shut up. I’ll love it, whatever it is.”

Slowly, Kahlan unwrapped the gift without ripping any of the paper, to reveal a red box. She lifted the lid and found a silver charm bracelet. She lifted it up.

“Cara, it’s beautiful, why would you say it’s lame?”

Sighing, Cara took the piece out of Kahlan’s hand and held it up. “I...got my sisters to pick a charm each, so it was like it was from all of us. ‘Cause, you know, they like you and stuff.” She picked up a tiny shoe charm.

“Triana,” Kahlan guessed with a grin.

“Yep.” The charm next to that one was a cooking pot.


“Uh huh.” Next was a wrench.

“Garen,” Kahlan said with a little laugh.

“Of course.” A heart was the second to last charm.

“Dahlia,” Kahlan’s voice was a little choked.

Lastly, Cara held up a tiny silver bottle. Kahlan’s brow quirked in confusion.

“Okay...since you’re the only one left, I’m guessing this is from you...but...”

“Inside there’s some dirt from right outside the shop,” Cara forced the words out, feeling silly, but needing to say them. “So that you’ll always have a little bit of the Bronx with you wherever you go.”

She chanced a glimpse at Kahlan’s face, and found that she was crying again. Kahlan sniffed, clearly trying to keep her emotions in check.

“Will you...put it on for me?”

Cara nodded, lifting the bracelet and undoing the clasp. Kahlan held out her right wrist and Cara draped the bracelet around it, fastening it, but leaving her hand covering Kahlan’s.

“You’re sure you don’t need me to take you to the airport?” she asked, for something to say.

Kahlan shook her head. “I don’t think I could handle doing this in public.”

“I’m not sure I can handle doing it in private,” Cara admitted with a one sided smile.

Once again, Cara found herself in Kahlan’s arms. This time there was no hesitation, Cara held onto her for all she was worth. She squeezed her tightly.

“Don’t forget about me.” Kahlan’s whisper was hot against her ear.

“I couldn’t ever,” Cara whispered back. “You never forget your first damsel in distress.”

She felt Kahlan laugh against her before pulling away and cupping her cheek. “My hero.” Then she leaned in and pressed a chaste kiss right on the corner of Cara’s lips. It took all of Cara’s willpower not to turn and make it a real kiss, but she refrained, stepping out of Kahlan’s embrace and reaching for her discarded beer. She lifted up the bottle.

“To friendship.”

Kahlan wiped her eyes and clinked her own bottle against Cara’s. “To us.”

“To us,” Cara agreed and they both took a drink.


Cara yawned as she made her way downstairs and through the door that led into the workshop. Triana was already seated at the desk, painting her nails. Cara tugged up her wine coloured coveralls and slid her arms into the sleeves.

“What you got for me?” she asked, not bothering to look at her sister.

“Well, good morning to you too,” Triana said.

Cara turned a withering look on her. “Just gimme a job, Triana.”

“Who pissed in your cereal?” Triana mumbled as she checked the job book. “Take the caddy in the back, owner needs it back quick.”

“Fine.” She made her way to the back of the shop, nodding at Garen on the way.

“Good morning, ladies! It is a beautiful day outside and I come bearing caffeine!”

Cara rolled her eyes, but turned around and scooped a cup from one of the trays Richard was carrying. Richard was the third mechanic in the shop, and Denna’s long-term boyfriend.

“Hey Cara, how you feelin’?” He tilted his head in sympathy and Cara had a hard time not snapping at him. He was so girly about some stuff that she didn’t know how Denna put up with him.

“I’m fine,” she ground out from between her teeth. “Why shouldn’t I be?”

She swept away to her workspace and took a deep swig from the coffee cup, feeling a momentary relief as the caffeine worked itself into her system. Then Triana’s exaggerated whisper made its way to her ears.

“Ignore her, she’s grouchy because her girlfriend is leaving the state.”

Cara weighed up the pros and cons of punching Triana and decided that the pouting and guilt-trips wouldn’t be worth the fleeting satisfaction of her fist making contact. Anyway, she’d probably end up hitting Richard because he had some weird sense of chivalry and would step in front of Triana. And then Denna would be mad at her and that really wasn’t worth it. So she gritted her teeth and turned to take a look at the car she would be working on.


She was trying not to think about Kahlan, and instead focusing on her work, without much success. She was lying under a car, trying to get an old rusted nut to loosen, when a pair of boots appeared by her legs.

“Why didn’t you ask her to stay? Or why didn’t you go with her?”

Cara sighed, letting her arms drop to the ground, the wrench in her hand making a solid clunk as it made contact. She played dumb.


Dahlia kicked her ankle gently.

“Don’t gimme ‘who’, Cara. I was sure you’d say something when you were over at her place last night!”

Another set of feet joined Dahlia’s, this pair in six inch heels. Cara turned her head to look at Garen, who was working under the car next to her own. Garen sent her a sympathetic look but turned back to her task. She wasn’t getting out of this one easily.

“Listen Cara, cut the crap. You’ve been growlin’ at everybody for the past month since it finally got into your thick skull that she was really leavin’.”

Cara rolled her eyes and pushed herself out from under the car. She sat up on the wheeled board and glared at Triana.

“What do you want me to say? My friend is movin’ all the way across the country and I’m...sad about it. Satisfied?”

“Your...friend?” Dahlia said, tilting her head.

Cara turned her glare on Dahlia, but she could never be angry at her baby sister so she looked down.

“Yeah, my friend. That’s all she’s ever been.”

“Well, unless you named your vibrator ‘Kahlan’, I’m pretty sure you wanna be more than her friend.” Triana’s smile was wicked, but not unkind.

Dahlia covered her mouth and turned away and even Garen snorted. Cara’s jaw clenched. Fucking thin walls.

“You didn’t have to listen, Triana!”

“I couldn’t help it, Cara. You ain’t exactly quiet!”

“I think what Triana means,” Dahlia said with a significant look at her older sister. “Is that you’re not very good at hiding your feelings. We all, ya know, know.”

Cara rubbed her face, smearing oil across her cheeks and sighing. There wasn’t much point in arguing.

“It’s too late, she’s gone.”

Triana’s tongue clicked and the toe of a very pointy shoe dug into Cara’s calf.

“Ow! What’d you do that for?” Cara rubbed the area vigorously.

“Because you’re an idiot.” Dahlia nudged Triana, shaking her head. She turned to Cara.

“What Triana meant to say was that Kahlan isn’t flying to the moon, Cara, she’s moving to another state. You could call her right now and tell her that you love her and ask her to stay.”

“Why don’t I ask her to meet me on the top of the Empire State Building?” The sarcasm was clear.

“You could...,” Dahlia frowned. “Kind of a cliché, but still romantic.”

“This isn’t a movie, Dahlia,” Cara said, her voice quiet. “Kahlan’s gonna be a lawyer in California. Rich lawyers from California don’t fall for greasemonkeys from the Bronx. She’s gonna marry some high-powered lawyer and settle down and have a ton of kids. I don’t...I don’t even know for sure if she’d...”

“Jesus Christ, you’re the dumbest person I know,” Triana muttered and suddenly Cara was on her feet.

“That so, huh? I’m dumb?” Her chest was against Triana’s pushing her back. “Your head’s so full of air it’s only the weight of your make-up that keeps you from flyin’ away.”

“At least when I want something, I go after it,” Triana threw back. “I don’t wait around like some little puppy waitin’ for it to be handed to me and then take it out on everyone else in my life when it doesn’t happen.”

“Triana! You’re not helping!” Dahlia pushed her way in between them and shoved Triana back with a hand on her chest. “Don’t you have stuff to do? At your desk?”

Triana huffed and turned on her heel to stalk away.

“Don’t blame the rest of the world for somethin’ you didn’t do, Cara,” she called over her shoulder. “You’re a lot of things, but I’ve never thought of you as a coward.”

She reacted automatically, starting to move towards Triana, but Dahlia’s arms around her waist halted her and pulled her back.

“Hey, hey!” Dahlia snapped her fingers in front of Cara’s eyes, she was still glaring at Triana. “Look at me.”

She waited until Cara was looking into her eyes.

“She’s right. You are being a coward.” Cara opened her mouth to protest. “You can give me all the excuses in the world about Kahlan bein’ rich or you bein’ some poor mechanic. But none of that changes the fact that the two of you are crazy about each other. And if you’re willing to just let her walk away, that’s up to you...but I’m not willing to stay quiet about it.”

Dahlia’s face was red with what appeared to be anger by the end of her speech and she was on the verge of tears.

“Dahlia, I...”

“You should go after her.”

Everyone in the room turned to look at Garen who had come out from under the car she’d been working on. She shrugged.

“You work.”

“We...work.” Somehow, repeating Garen’s words brought everything into a sharp focus. They worked together. They shouldn’t have worked together. But they did. They worked.

“We work,” she said again, louder.

“God, is she having a breakdown or somethin’?” Triana called from her desk. “Do I need to call someone?”

“Shut it, Triana,” Cara barked. A grin spread over Cara’s face. “I’m gonna go get her! I’m gonna go with her.”

“You are?” Dahlia’s distress evaporated. “Because I expected to have to push you a whole lot more than I did.”

Cara grabbed both of Dahlia’s cheeks and kissed her on the forehead. She kept hold of her face and looked straight into her eyes.

“We work.”

“Doesn’t look like it from where I’m standin’.” All eyes turned to where Denna stood in the middle of the floor, hands on hips. “Doesn’t look like anybody’s workin’.”

Richard coughed from under the hood of an SUV.

“Except my baby,” Denna amended. “Now does somebody wanna fill me in on what’s goin’ on?”

“I’m gonna go to the airport to see Kahlan and tell her that I wanna go with her and that I...that I...”

“That you love her, you dork!” Triana supplied, helpfully.

Denna let her eyes drift over Cara’s face, then she allowed herself a smile.

“Well, it’s about time, kiddo.”

Cara grinned even wider, before drooping. “But there’s this place...I...and you guys...I can’t leave you guys.”

Denna rolled her eyes. “Dahlia’s as trained up as she’ll ever be, and a pretty darn fine mechanic too. She can take your job.”

“I can?” Dahlia’s eyes were wide and she practically skipped to Denna, wrapping her arms around her neck and kissing her cheek. “Does that mean I get a raise?”

Denna accepted the affectionate embrace, draping an arm over Dahlia’s shoulders, she turned her attention back to Cara.

“And as for us,” she looked around at her sisters. “We’ll survive. Now get your ass upstairs and throw some stuff in a bag...how much time do you have before her flight leaves?”

Cara glanced at her watch. “Two and a half hours.”

Triana stood up, twirling a set of keys around her finger. “Then I’d better do the drivin’.”


After a brief blur of activity, Cara found herself in the back of Triana’s car, sandwiched between Dahlia and Garen. Triana dove in and out of lanes and Denna yelled obscenities; sometimes at other driver s and sometimes at Triana.
Cara tried to reach into her pocket to get her phone, but it wasn’t easy in the confined space.

“What you doin’?”Dahlia asked as Cara squirmed next to her.

“I’m gonna call Kahlan and tell her I’m on my way...then if we don’t make it, she can wait and we’ll get the next flight out together.”

“No!” For once, all of Cara’s sisters spoke in unison.

“...No?” she asked, confused.

“You can’t just call someone up on the phone and tell them that you love them and that you wanna move to another state with them,” Dahlia explained. “You gotta do the big gesture and catch her just as she’s gettin’ on the plane and declare your undyin’ love for her!”

“I’m not...I don’t do that stuff,” Cara mumbled.

“Where’s your sense of romance, Cara?” Denna teased, looking over her shoulder. “Dahlia’s right. You can’t just call her. Don’t worry, we’ll get there on time.”

Triana floored the gas pedal and Cara’s head was thrown back. She sent up a silent prayer to a God she wasn’t sure she’d believed in. She didn’t want to die without Kahlan knowing how she felt.


They made quite a spectacle running to the airline counter . Five grown women, two of them in coveralls, sprinting through check-in. The girl at the counter looked up in surprise when Cara slammed down her wallet.

“I need a one-way ticket to San Francisco on the flight that leaves in...” She checked her watch. “Forty minutes.”

“Well, ma’am...it’s unusual for us to issue a ticket so late in the-“

“I need to be on that flight,” Cara said.

“There’s a girl that she needs to declare her love to,” Dahlia explained, giving the clerk her best doe eyes. “She really needs a ticket...” She let her eyes dip to the girl’s badge. “Jennsen. Can you help us out?”

The redheaded clerk’s eyes lit up. “Seriously? You want to tell someone you love them?”

Cara nodded, mutely.

“I have been waiting for something like this to happen!” Jennsen declared, typing furiously on her computer. “It’s just like in the movies.”

Cara rolled her eyes and Dahlia nudged her, grinning.

“I have one seat left...”

“She’ll take it!” Dahlia almost screamed.

“It’s...in First Class,” Jennsen said, haltingly. “It’s $3000 dollars.”

Cara stumbled back as if she’d been struck.

“Three thousand bucks? I...I can’t...”

A credit card appeared on the desk, Denna pushed it towards the girl. She avoided Cara’s eyes.

“It’s on the company,” she said, quietly. “Consider this your Christmas bonus.”

Uncaring of who was watching, Cara threw her arms around Denna and hugged her. “Thank you,” she whispered. “You don’t know what this means to me.”

Denna pulled away a little. “Oh, I think I have an idea.” She cupped Cara’s cheek in her hand. “She makes you happy. That’s all Pop ever wanted for any of us. So you go and you be happy, okay?”

Cara nodded, pulling Denna back in for another hug.

“I need a signature,” the clerk piped up, breaking the moment. “And when I issue this ticket, you’re gonna have to run. So you maybe should say your goodbyes now...”

Denna kissed Cara’s cheek gently. “You keep in touch, you hear? Or you’ll have me to deal with.” Cara nodded and Denna released her to go and do the necessary paperwork.

Cara turned to the rest of her family and was shocked to find Triana with tears streaming down her cheeks.

“What the hell?” she blurted out.

“I’m gonna miss you, you idiot,” Triana said, scowling. “C’mere.” She pulled Cara into an embrace which Cara returned.

“I’m gonna miss you too, princess,” she said, realising that it was actually true.

“Of course you will,” Triana agreed. She stepped back and held Cara at arm’s length. “Oh, and if you and Kahlan are gonna be doing joint Christmas presents this year, please let her pick mine.”

Shaking her head, Cara grinned. “Sure thing, sis.” She had barely let go of Triana before her arms were full again, of Garen this time. She held the quiet girl without saying anything, just swaying her gently. Garen lifted her head from Cara’s shoulder to look into her eyes. She nodded and Cara returned it. They didn’t need to speak. Cara took a deep breath before turning to face Dahlia. The youngest Mason was smiling widely, but her eyes were full of tears and her lip was trembling.

“Hey now,” Cara said, pulling her into her arms. “Don’t cry. I won’t be able to go if you’re crying.”

“They’re happy tears,” Dahlia mumbled against her shoulder. “I’ll miss you. A lot.”

“I’ll miss you too, squirt,” Cara whispered. “But I’ll come back and see you. And you can come visit me. Who knows, maybe I’ll open my own garage and you can come work for me?”

“Poaching my staff already, Cara?” Denna’s voice cut in, making them both smile. Dahlia lifted her head and sniffed.

“Go get your girl,” she whispered.

With a final look around at her sisters, Cara picked up her bag and her ticket and walked away, almost blinded by tears. She’d walked about a hundred yards when she turned around.

“I love you guys!” she yelled.

“We love you too!” Dahlia called back, cuddled against Triana’s side. Cara grinned and turned and started to run.


She made it to the departure gate just as it was closing. Every single obstacle she could’ve met on the way had cropped up. The line at security had been crazy, she’d made the machine beep, the woman patting her down seemed to take forever. But she was sprinting to the gate just as the door was closing.

“Wait! I have a ticket!”

She thrust it out to the attendant.

“Another thirty seconds and the gate would have been closed, ma’am,” he said, taking her ticket and scanning it. “They’re getting ready for taxi so just get on and get to your seat.”

Cara did as she was told. She found her seat, next to an old man. He smiled at her as she put her bag into the overhead locker.

“Uh...excuse me, but I think you’re in the wrong seat.”

Cara turned to find a thin blonde woman looking down her nose at her. Cara looked down at her torn jeans and oil-covered wife-beater and then around at the rest of the passengers in First Class. She had never felt more out of place in her life. But she held up her ticket to the snooty bitch, whose nametag said ‘Nicci’.

“This is my seat. Bought and paid for.”

The woman took the ticket between the very tips of her forefinger and her thumb to inspect it. Apparently displeased to see that Cara was telling the truth, she handed it back.

“Please take your seat and fasten your seatbelt. We are almost ready to take off. I hope you have a nice flight.”

Somehow, she managed to make all of that sound like ‘I hope you get sucked out of the window at 30,000 feet’. Cara shook her head and took her seat. The old man in the next seat leaned over to her.

“She has a sunny disposition, that one,” he whispered, loudly. “She didn’t appreciate my ensemble either.”

Cara smiled at his attempt to put her at ease. She took a good look at what he was wearing; long orange and red robes. She quirked her eyebrows at him.

“Uh...it’s very...nice.”

“Uniform of my trade, my dear.” He extended his hand. “Zeddicus Zu’l Zorander, at your service.”

“You’re a...magician?” He looked kind of like those guys who turned up at kid’s birthday parties and did things with rabbits.

He scoffed good-naturedly. “A Wizard,” he corrected. “You can call me Zedd. I can see you’re a little sceptical about my occupation, so let me use the power of my mind to determine yours...” He put his fingers to his forehead. “You are...a mechanic.”

Cara grinned. She liked this guy. “Gee, what gave it away?”

Zedd winked. “A Wizard never reveals his secrets.” The plane started to back out of the gate and it suddenly struck Cara that she’d never flown before. Ever. She gripped the arm rests and her knuckles went white.

“Nervous flyer?” Zedd asked, quietly.

“I dunno,” Cara said, still gripping the armrests. “I never did it before.”

“You’ll be fine,” Zedd assured her. “Here.” He dug around in his robes and produced a flask, unscrewing the cap and holding it out to her.

She took the flask and tipped her head back. Whatever was in it felt like fire going down her throat and she realised a little too late that she had just accepted a mystery liquid from a strange old man who was dressed in a strange outfit and called himself a wizard. She coughed a little, trying to keep her eyes from watering.

“What is that?”

“Just a little Dutch courage, nothing more.”

The aircraft had taxied to the runway and the engines fired, causing Cara to nearly jump out of her seat. Zedd placed a reassuring hand on her arm.

“This is the fun part,” he told her with a wide smile.

And then she was slammed back against her seat by the force of the airplane picking up speed for the take-off. She grinned. It was kinda fun.

“Hey, you’re right. And it’s not so different from how my sister drives,” she told the old man, almost shouting over the engine noise.


Once the aircraft had reached its cruising altitude and the seatbelt sign had been turned off, Cara’s nerves returned. Nothing to do with the fact she was flying, more to do with why. Kahlan was somewhere on the same plane and all Cara had to do was find her and declare her love for her. She felt queasy.

The flight attendant from earlier was moving around the cabin with a tray, passing out flutes of champagne. When she reached Cara she paused.

“Would madam prefer a bruski?” she asked, her lips turning up in an imitation of a sweet smile.

Cara scowled and took two glasses from her tray. “No, this’ll do, thank you very much.”

Nicci sauntered away, still smiling. Cara turned to give the other glass to Zedd but he held up his hand.

“I’ll stick to the hard stuff, you can have mine.”

She shrugged and tipped her head back, letting the bubbly liquid run down her throat. She finished the flute in a single gulp and the other followed quickly. She put the glass down on her tray table and closed her eyes. Zedd’s hard stuff and the champagne meant that she was feeling a little light headed already. Zedd raised his eyebrows.

“So...I just so happen to love a good story and something tells me you have a good story.”

“Oh yeah?” Cara said. “And what makes you think that?”

“Well, you’ve never flown before and yet here you are in First Class, you’ve obviously come straight from work so I think it was a last minute decision. Last minute decisions are usually something to do with love or money...and I’m going to go with love.”

Cara wanted to roll her eyes, but instead, she opened her mouth and started talking. Damn champagne.


Fifteen minutes later, Zedd knew the whole story.

“...So I gotta figure out what I’m gonna say to her, ya know? ‘Cause it’s gotta be pretty and meaningful and shit, right?”

Zedd was hiding an amused grin. “Oh yes, pretty and meaningful, definitely. I think you’ve got that covered, child. The way you spoke about her just now was absolutely beautiful.”

Cara sighed and swirled the last drop of champagne that remained in her fourth glass around.

“But as soon as I see her, I go all tongue-tied and...I can’t say anything.”

The old man tapped his chin as he thought. A smile slowly made its way across his lips.

“What if you didn’t have to see her to tell her? Would that help?”

She glanced over at him, brow creased in confusion.

“Like...tell her on the phone? My sisters said that I shouldn’t do that.”

“I think we can do a little bit better than the phone,” Zedd said, motioning for Nicci to come over. “I have a friend who might be able to help you out.”

“Yes, sir? Can I help you?” Nicci’s voice cut into Cara’s thoughts and she looked up.

“This is your friend?” she asked Zedd, aghast. He ignored her.

“I’d like to see your supervisor, please.”

“Fine,” Nicci said, rolling her eyes. “I’ll send her right along.”

“Shota and I go way back,” Zedd told Cara. “She’ll help us out.”

“Zedd, what a surprise.”

Cara looked up to find an older woman with long dark brown hair smiling at Zedd. He was grinning up at her like a schoolboy and Cara felt very much in the way all of a sudden.

“Shota, you look as dazzling as ever.”

“Flattery will get you nowhere, Zeddicus, you know that.”

“I do indeed, but I have a favour to ask on behalf of my young friend here.” He gestured to Cara with a flourish. “She has someone she’d like to give a message to and I wonder if you’d be so kind as to let her use the intercom to do it.”

Cara turned to him, her eyes wide.

“The intercom? No, no...I...no.”

“What could be better? You get your grand romantic gesture to tell your sisters about and you don’t have to turn into a blubbering idiot in front of the object of your affections? It’s perfect!” he declared. “If I do say so myself.”

Shota was shaking her head and smiling. “Oh Zedd, ever the romantic.” She turned to Cara. “Honey, don’t let this old fool pressure you into anything. But if you want it, the intercom’s yours. Just gimme a yell.”

She winked at Zedd and then headed back to the crew area at the front of the aircraft. Cara looked at Zedd.

“Is she your girlfriend?” she asked.

“On occasion,” he said, wiggling his eyebrows. “So, Cara Mason, are you going to tell your lady how you feel?”

She bit her lip. The thought of doing that over the intercom made her feel queasy. But if she couldn’t do it, then why had she come? She nodded to Zedd.

“Yeah, yeah I am...just gimme five minutes to think of what I’m gonna sa-“

“No time like the present!” Zedd announced, urging Cara out of her seat. “Go tell Shota you’re ready.”

“Now?” Cara asked, standing anyway.

“If you wait much longer we’ll have landed. Now go!”

She turned, on slightly unsteady legs, but before she’d taken a step, Zedd’s voice halted her. She turned and he beckoned her closer. She leaned in and he reached out and produced a single white rose from behind her ear.

“How did yo-“

“Uh uh! Secrets. Now go and give that to Kahlan.”

The walk to the crew area felt like the walk to the gallows and she physically shook herself to get the negative thoughts to leave. Kahlan liked her, more than liked her. She was sure of it. Almost sure. And if she was wrong, she’d be hitching back home.

Shota smiled when she finally arrived.

“So, he convinced you to do it, huh? Good for you.”

“What if I fuck this up? I don’t get another chance.”

“You’ll be fine. And please don’t say ‘fuck’ on the intercom.”

“Shit, I’m sorry!”

“Try to stay clear of ‘shit’, also.”


Shota nodded and lifted the intercom to her mouth but Cara grabbed her arm before she could speak.

“Is this gonna work?”

The older woman gave her a smile and a wink. “It worked on me.” She pressed the button on the handset that allowed her to speak to the rest of the cabin.

“Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. We will shortly be starting our descent into San Francisco, where it is warm and sunny today. But before we do that, we have a very special message from one of our passengers to another.”

Shota handed over the intercom and then stepped away, drawing a curtain over the little area Cara was standing in. Cara looked down at the rose in her hand, took a deep breath and started speaking.

“This isn’t usually my style,” she said. “Romantic stuff...I’m not good at it. But...Kahlan, I need you to know that I...I...” Triana’s voice rang in her head That you love her, you dork. “That I love you, you dork. No! That’s not...” Gentle laughter reached her ears from the passengers. She clamped her mouth and her eyes shut. “I’mthe dork. And I love you.” The laughter turned into a series of ‘Awwwwws’ She’d said it and it hadn’t killed her. Emboldened by the reaction of complete strangers, she opened her eyes and kept going. “I know we’re friends, and I know we come from different worlds...but we work. I know we do and I have a feeling you know we do too. So here I am, tellin’ an airplane full of people that I’m completely in love with you and hopin’ that I’m not makin’ a fool of myself for nothin’ and that when I come out of here, you’ll be waitin’ for me and that maybe you’ll say it back...if not...well, I hope there’s enough booze on this flight to make me forget I did this. Oh, and in case there are two Kahlans on here...I’m talkin’ to Kahlan Amnell. So...I’m comin’ out now.” She almost replaced the handset, but picked it up quickly. “This is Cara, by the way.”

Another ripple of laughter went around the cabin and Cara fought down a blush. She replaced the intercom in its cradle, twirled the rose between her fingers, and stepped out from behind the curtain.

Kahlan was nowhere in sight. Cara felt like she’d been punched in the stomach. All of the other passengers were looking around and over their shoulders, clearly wondering where she was too. Some of them looked at Cara sympathetically and her eyes started to burn hot.

Just as she was about to slink back to her seat, the curtain separating First Class from Economy was thrown aside and Kahlan burst through, looking around frantically before her eyes finally landed on Cara. She covered her mouth with her hand, tears running freely down her cheeks. A grin immediately split Cara’s face.

“Hey,” she whispered.

Kahlan shook her head, walking forward silently until she was standing in front of Cara. Her hand dropped away from her mouth and she was trying to smile.

“I couldn’t get out of my seat.”

It wasn’t quite what Cara had expected as an opener and her face must have shown that because Kahlan rushed to continue.

“I was in the window seat...that’s why I wasn’t here when you came out. I think I stabbed someone in the leg with a butter knife trying to get here.”

“It’s okay,” Cara reassured her, choosing not to tell her that she’d plunged into an immediate depression when she saw that Kahlan wasn’t there. “You’re here now.” She held out the white rose.

Kahlan took it with a smile, looking into Cara’s eyes. “I love you too, you dork.”

Something loosened within Cara and, to her horror, a sob escaped her chest. And another, and another. And they only stopped when Kahlan stepped in and covered her mouth with her own. Cara’s eyes closed as she sank into Kahlan. She barely registered the rapturous applause that had erupted as soon as their lips met. They had to part too soon, and Kahlan hid her face in Cara’s neck, laughing softly.

Cara kept her arms around Kahlan’s waist and turned to press a kiss against her cheek.

“I’m sorry...about all this,” she whispered.

Kahlan lifted her head and smiled. “Are you kidding? This is the most romantic thing that’s ever happened to me.” She tilted her head with an affectionate smile. “Thank you.”

Cara looked around and found that all eyes were still on them. “Do you think we could maybe...get out of the spotlight?”

Kahlan nodded and slid her arms from around Cara’s neck, down to link their fingers together. Cara led her back to her seat, nodding and thanking people who were congratulating her on the way. She frowned to see that Zedd wasn’t there and that all of his stuff was gone. There was a note on his tray table, along with a single red rose. She smiled as she picked it up, unfolding the note.

“Dear Cara,

Tell the pretty lady that she is welcome to my seat.

Love and magic have a great deal in common. They enrich the soul, delight the heart. And they both take practice.

Never stop practising.


She shook her head and wondered how on earth Zedd would survive in Economy seating with his long legs. She stood aside and let Kahlan take Zedd’s seat. As she settled into her own, she noticed that Kahlan was looking at her, curiously.

“What? Do I got something on my face?”

Kahlan shook her head. “No. I just...wondered how you...listen, never mind, that’s for another time.”

Cara bumped her forehead against Kahlan’s.

“Denna paid for the seat,” she said, knowing that’s what Kahlan was wondering. “Triana drove me to the airport. Dahlia made damn sure that I knew that I had to be romantic about this...so please don’t tell her that I called you a dork. And Garen...Garen convinced me to go for it.”

“Garen?” Kahlan couldn’t hide her surprise.

“Yep,” Cara confirmed. “She said that we work.”

Kahlan grinned, leaning in to brush her lips against Cara’s. “We do.”

“I’m glad you agree...I told you you’d miss me makin’ sense.”

“Well, now I don’t have to,” Kahlan said, but her voice faltered. “You...you are planning to stay, aren’t you?”

“If you’ll have me,” Cara said with a nod. “But I gotta warn you, these are the only clothes I brought.”

“That’s fine,” Kahlan rushed to say, her smile firmly back in place. “As long as you’re staying, everything else is fine. Plus, this means I can take you shopping.”

Cara groaned. Kahlan’s eyes dragged over Cara’s clothes and back up, darker than they’d been before.

“Although, I must admit that I might put that off for a couple of days...because the thought of you with no clothes on is rather appealing.”

The blush started in Cara’s cheeks and quickly moved all the way to the roots of her hair. That wasn’t supposed to happen; she was supposed to be the confident, cocky one. She opened her mouth to reply, but the intercom bell sounded, indicating that someone was about to talk.

“This is your captain speaking, we are beginning our descent into San Francisco and we should have you on the ground at the scheduled arrival time. The weather has been kind to us and we anticipate a smooth ride all the way in. Please fasten your seatbelts and return your seat to an upright position for landing.”

“Hear that? Smooth.” Cara whispered. “You think we got a smooth road ahead of us too?”

“There’s bound to be some bumps along the way,” Kahlan said. “But we’ll ride them out together.”

“As long as we keep our suspension well maintained, we’ll be fine,” Cara said with a wink.

Kahlan laughed and linked her fingers with Cara’s. “Enough of the driving analogies, let’s just get our feet on the ground and go from there, what do you say?”

“I don’t know about you, but I’m gonna be walkin’ on the clouds all day. Maybe all week,” Cara admitted, her earlier blush making a reappearance.

“Who knew that you had an inner romantic that just needed a little prod?” Kahlan asked, teasing.

“Not me, that’s for sure,” Cara said. “Now I’ve never done one of these landing things before, so I think you better kiss me to distract me.”

“I think I can manage that,” Kahlan said, leaning over until their lips were nearly touching. “Dork.”


( 51 comments — Leave a comment )
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Aug. 4th, 2011 05:58 pm (UTC)

Heart. In ears. Time. Entire. This. *takes breath*

I absolutely adored everything about this! From the white summer dress to Desecrated 2.0 to family dynamics and Zedd!

This whole fic was an explosion of all that is good in this world. Like unicorns and rainbows and fluffy puppies with sprinkles on top. My heart was in my throat for almost the entire thing before the pounding in my ears started and this stupid grin on my face won't go away. You iz talented and awesome and other neat stuff. :)

I never thought I’d say this but Triana is my favourite. "Do I need to call someone?" LOL.

Have I mentioned that I love you? 'Cause I kinda do. "This is Cara, by the way". *explodes from feeeelings*

Brilliant and believable dialogue. Entirely ridiculously heartwarming and fun to read. Go Sugarpuff!
Aug. 8th, 2011 07:12 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you liked it :) I swear, when I saw your prompt, this whole thing just jumped into my head. I have no idea why or where it came from, but it did. So thank you :)

I never thought I’d say this but Triana is my favourite. - That is okay. Triana was my favourite to write :) And is pretty much Cordelia Chase, let's face it ;)

Have I mentioned that I love you? - Mention it as often as you like :D

Thanks again for the awesome prompt. Next one I tackle will most likely be the Dany/Doreah one, because I cannot resist dragons.
Aug. 4th, 2011 06:25 pm (UTC)

Love this!! I think this just may be my fave of all the k/c fics I've read.

Aug. 8th, 2011 07:13 pm (UTC)
Awww, that's a lovely thing to say. Thank you :)
Aug. 4th, 2011 06:26 pm (UTC)
So cute.
Aug. 8th, 2011 07:13 pm (UTC)
Ta muchly :)
Aug. 4th, 2011 06:34 pm (UTC)
I just love AUs so much! Very fun set-up and super fluffy. :)
Aug. 8th, 2011 07:14 pm (UTC)
Glad you liked it! Thank you :)
Aug. 4th, 2011 06:44 pm (UTC)
Aww, Cara´s family! All the Mord Sith-sters... funny set up!
And an amazing cuteness between C/K!
Aug. 8th, 2011 07:15 pm (UTC)
I couldn't resist having all the Mord'Sith as sisters :) Glad you enjoyed it.
Aug. 4th, 2011 07:00 pm (UTC)
Awww, this is so lovely and sweet! Cara as a mechanic is kind of super hot. I wasn't sure at first about making the Mord'Sith actual sisters, but you really made it work. Obviously people should prompt you stuff more often. :D
Aug. 8th, 2011 07:16 pm (UTC)
Cara as pretty much anything is super hot ;) I'm glad you thought it worked. It was very AU.

People should prompt me ALL THE TIME because I can't think of my own ideas!
Aug. 5th, 2011 01:24 am (UTC)
I loved this!
Aug. 8th, 2011 07:16 pm (UTC)
Thank you :)
Aug. 5th, 2011 01:29 am (UTC)
I had a stupid grin on my face through this whole story. How amazing is this story? *pause* No really, you tell me how amazing your own story was. *LOL*

Seriously though, how you worked everyone into this story was freaking awesome. What a sweet, adorable, funny, uplifting story. Absolutely loved this! :-)
Aug. 8th, 2011 07:17 pm (UTC)
No really, you tell me how amazing your own story was. *LOL* - I will politely decline your offer, thank you ;)

I'm glad you liked it :)
Aug. 5th, 2011 02:44 am (UTC)
Awesome ...heartwarming ... Cute ... Fun ...and more importantly beautiful story to read!!!

Loved the whole family set up with all the sisters & their unique personalities blended into the family unit - just perfect!! As was your salute to Desecrated :)

All the one liners in it were too funny and typically I think Triana got the best of them ;)

Cara's amazing declaration of love at the end was believable and just "awwwww" ...<3333

Such a fun story to read and left me with a silly grin and great start to the day..thanx for writing & sharing ;)

PS: The graphic was just spot on....
Aug. 8th, 2011 07:18 pm (UTC)
Awww, I'm glad you enjoyed it. And I'm secretly thrilled that you liked Triana because she was my favourite to write. I have a soft spot for her that's most likely more related to her striking resemblance to Cordelia Chase than anything else ;)
Aug. 5th, 2011 03:07 am (UTC)

Aug. 8th, 2011 07:18 pm (UTC)
Thank you :)
Aug. 5th, 2011 03:22 am (UTC)

Love this so much, all our friends are in here, Zedd such a romantic, that *itch Nicci!, all the "sisters", really there's so much to love about this story. I nearly cried when they where saying their goodbyes, *sniff* I needed a nice feel good fic right about now!! thanks!
Aug. 8th, 2011 07:19 pm (UTC)
I'm glad this filled your quota for a feel-good fic :)
Aug. 5th, 2011 03:45 am (UTC)
Aug. 8th, 2011 07:20 pm (UTC)
Glad it's awww-worthy :)
Aug. 5th, 2011 04:11 am (UTC)
Oh my goodness! Words cannot describe how much I love this story, it's sweet, cute and just all around amazing. I adore the backgrounds you made up for Kahlan and Cara, her 'sisters' were awesome. :D
Aug. 8th, 2011 07:20 pm (UTC)
Glad you thought the premise worked :) It was fun to write.
Aug. 5th, 2011 05:49 am (UTC)
As a long-standing lover of angst and drama, it kills me to say I loved the fluff, but I did. I love how you incorporated all the Seeker characters and gave your own spin. So cute and sweet, I think my tooth is aching. :D
Aug. 8th, 2011 07:21 pm (UTC)
Well, I'm proud to have drawn you away from your angst and drama long enough to indulge in a little fluff ;)

Sorry about the toothache, though.
Aug. 5th, 2011 03:06 pm (UTC)
Oh.my.God, this is definitely my fav AU C/K story. I loved everything. All of our favorite mord'sith as sisters, Richard and Denna together, Zedd, Nicci, Cara's declaration (gosh it was so sweet but funny as hell at the same time).
I even liked Dhalia, this is actually the first fic where she didn't piss me off. You are a genius. :D
With all these angsty fics around lately i needed to read something sweet and romantic as this. I hate angst so thank you for this. :D
Aug. 8th, 2011 07:22 pm (UTC)
I'm very glad to have made you like Dahlia. She's not exactly my favourite character, but I didn't want to do her a disservice.

Glad you enjoy a bit of sweetness and romance amidst the angst. Thank you!!!
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Cara: bow, hesitation

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